Summary: Looking at discipleship
The Challenge of Discipleship - Luke 9:18-27
Gladstone Baptist Church – 8/1/06 pm
The Matrix is an interesting movie in which the characters one by one struggle with the belief that Neo is “The One” who was prophesied about – the One who would save them all from the evil that is the Matrix. In many ways the movie The Matrix tries to tell the gospel story albeit in a science fiction setting. It is about the slavery of all humanity by the machines who use them to power their existence. Human beings live in a pretend world called the matrix which is not real, just as this world is not the ultimate reality – Heaven is.
The main character is Neo who is rescued from the Matrix and who it is said is the promised one who will destroy the evil of the matrix and rescue the last survivers of the free human race who are held up in a fortified city. But it is not easy for others to believe that Neo is the promised one. Many are filled with doubt, though some follow him whole heartedly. I want to show you a clip of a confrontation between Morpheus who believes that Neo is the promised one and his commander – Commander Lock – who doesn’t believe. The Machines are marching on the last human city, Zion, and Lock wants all his soldiers ready to fight to defend it. But Morpheus believes the salvation of the city lies in the hands of Neo. One believes and is ready to die for Neo. The other is skeptical.
Show clip from the Matrix.
Is He the promised one? This was the same question people ask about Jesus? Jesus it is claimed is the promised one who will come and free all of mankind from the slavery of sin. Some accept this and would follow Jesus to their deaths. But many are not as sure. Many are skeptical. Tonight I want to look at a watershed point in Jesus’ ministry – the Confession of Peter. This is the first time one of Jesus’ disciples actually confesses that Jesus is the Messiah – the Promised One who would save them all. You might remember that the disciples were in a 3 year apprenticeship program and at this point of the program, they were in year 3. So you would hope that they were beginning to understand a bit of who Jesus is, especially after the things he’d just been doing. If you look back into Luke’s gospel, you can see some of the incredible things that Jesus had been doing - healing people, driving out demons, raising dead people, feeding 1000’s of people, etc. He was certainly not an ordinary man.
But here at this watershed, he asks his disciples the questions “Who do people say that I am?” Would you open up your Bibles to Luke 9:18 …
18 Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say I am?”
19 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life.”
20 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Peter answered, “The Christ of God.”
21 Jesus strictly warned them not to tell this to anyone. 22 And he said, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.”
23 Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. 25 What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self? 26 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. 27 I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.”
In this passage, Jesus quizzes his disciples about who they thought he was. This discussion between Jesus and his disciples occurred about 2 years into their training. The disciples had been with Jesus as disciples. They’d been amazed by plenty of miracles. They’d heard some pretty radical teaching. They’d seen Jesus’ reactions to all manner of circumstances and I’m sure that as a result they were different men.